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Should you leave your children equal inheritances?

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2022 | Estate Administration & Probate

Planning your estate is an important obligation for any California adult. When creating your will, you may wonder if you should leave each of your children the same inheritance. There are reasons why you shouldn’t do that.

One child is bad at managing money

If you have a child who has a significant problem with debt or gambling, it’s probably a bad idea to leave them an inheritance that’s equal to what you leave your other children.

You have a child who’s wealthy but others who are not

When you have children who earn drastically different incomes, it’s better not to leave them equal amounts of assets in your estate plan. If one child is a doctor who earns a six-figure salary while another makes minimum wage as a cashier, you might want to leave a larger inheritance to the one who makes less money.

One child has a disability

If one of your children has a disability, you will want to help plan for what their future might be like once you’re gone. This child should not receive the same as what you leave your other children. For example, one of the best ways to plan for their future is to create a special needs trust. This pays for their expenses while they are able to receive government assistance such as Medicaid. The trust must be structured in a way so that they can continue getting those benefits.

You have a child who’s estranged from you

Having a child who’s estranged from you and the rest of the family is difficult, but it can happen. If this is the case, you might not want to leave them an inheritance at all. However, even if you want to leave them something, it’s appropriate for your other children to get more.

There’s no rule that all your children need equal inheritances. These are some reasons that back up that fact.


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